Peeling the Onion: A Textual CDA of Research Articles in Humanities and Basic Sciences

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of English, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Foreign Language and Linguistics, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

3 Zand Institute of Higher Education, Shiraz, Iran


This study aimed to investigate the disciplinary and cross-disciplinary variations of research article Introduction sections in 2 disciplines (i.e., humanities and basic sciences). Ninety research article Introduction sections (i.e., 15 from each discipline of applied linguistics, sociology, psychology, biology, agriculture, and geology) were examined. The study was conducted with reference to the onion model of discourse analysis developed by Humphrey and Economou (2015), and the data were coded by MAXQDA10. Results pointed to a general underlying pattern that moved from descriptive and taxonomic reports to more challenging genres like persuasion and critique, regardless of the disciplines. Findings, however, indicated that individual disciplines manifested their own systematic regularities in terms of rhetorical conventions of writing. Besides, the process of knowledge-making was reflected and reinforced through lexicogrammatical and appraisal resources. The study has implications both for teaching and materials development.


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